It’s no secret that child sexual abuse (“CSA”) is a highly alarming problem in the U.S. and beyond. New findings by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed a concerning issue in youth detention facilities.

After analyzing 499 substantiated incidents of child sexual abuse in juvenile detention centers, juvenile justice authorities found that only 31% of CSA perpetrators faced legal consequences for their actions—but it gets worse. Only half of those were actually discharged or dismissed from their position. Other perpetrators merely received a slap on the wrist, such as demotions or temporary suspensions, before being allowed to return to work.

Child Sex Abuse in Juvenile Detention Centers: Key Takeaways in 2023

Linda McFarlane, the executive director at Just Detention—a health and human rights organization seeking to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention—says these numbers are “a grim illustration” of how the U.S. has failed countless children, subjecting them to sexual abuse by the adults entrusted with their care.

“Youth detention facilities are supposed to give kids a chance to heal and rebuild their lives,” McFarlane points out. “Instead, they are being traumatized—and the people responsible are getting off Scot-free.”

The sinister reality is that although most staff members walk free after sexually victimizing children in their care, the children they abuse aren’t as lucky. In fact, the report indicates that more than 27% of children sexually abused by staff were subject to disciplinary action or punishment, including isolation, loss of privileges, or being confined to their cell.

Research indicates short-term workers may be primarily responsible for child sex abuse in youth detention centers.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, almost 50% of staff-perpetrated child sex abuse incidents involved short-term staff members—specifically, employees with experience totaling one year or less.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), nearly half of all staff-perpetrated incidents involved workers who were employed for one year or less—a fact with significant implications.

The report also reflects serious numbers for staff-perpetrated incidents, with 68% of cases entailing sexual misconduct. The study defines sexual misconduct as:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Intentionally touching sexual areas
  • Actions up through completed sexual acts

The study concludes that 657 minors were sexually victimized by 511 staff members. Interestingly, the majority (61% of perpetrators) were female, whereas 29% were male. However, regarding 1,054 total cases of youth-on-youth sexual victimization, both victims and perpetrators were predominantly male.

Hiring Experienced Representation After Sex Abuse

Sexual abuse, especially in early development stages, can inflict lifelong harm—especially when it comes to children’s still-developing brains and bodies. In many cases, child sex abuse can lead to a myriad of physical and mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autoimmune diseases, depression, academic difficulties, cognitive impairments, emotional dysregulation, and much more.

Fortunately, securing trusted counsel from a qualified sex abuse attorney can make all the difference. Your lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of your case—from required forms to court appearances—so you can focus on what matters most: healing. A skilled legal advocate can assist by providing:

  • Legal counsel. An experienced attorney can offer sound counsel regarding your rights, legal options, and potential avenues for recourse in your case. They can also clarify complex legal jargon and processes in layman’s terms to keep clients informed and prepared for what comes next.
  • Investigation. A sex abuse attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to fortify their client’s claims with sufficient and relevant evidence. This may include interviewing witnesses, collecting medical records, and obtaining available surveillance footage or photos.
  • Experienced representation in court. If the case goes to trial, the attorney can represent their client in court, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and arguing on their behalf to ensure their rights are protected.
  • Effective negotiation. In some cases, your attorney may need to negotiate with the defendant and their attorney to ensure a fair settlement is reached, whether it be through traditional in-court litigation or a quiet out-of-court settlement that both parties can agree to. Such processes will require advanced legal and negotiation skills to adequately represent the best interests of the victim or survivor.
  • Emotional support. Dealing with a sex abuse case can be emotionally draining. A compassionate attorney can help clients keep up with essential tasks to prevent them from being overwhelmed, such as required paperwork and court appearance dates, to provide them with needed time and space to grieve and heal.
  • Privacy protection. An attorney can help protect a client’s privacy, ensuring that sensitive information is only disclosed when necessary and appropriate.

Our compassionate team at Levy Konigsberg has extensive experience representing survivors of sexual abuse in various settings, from medical offices to educational institutions. With more than $3 billion recovered for our clients, our firm is well-equipped to fight tirelessly for the maximum compensation you’re legally entitled to.

If you or a loved one was sexually abused at a juvenile detention center, our lawyers can represent your best interests in court. Our lawyers currently represent victims of child sexual abuse in youth detention centers in both Maryland and New York as well as other states. Reach out to our firm to learn how we can fight for the favorable result you desire after sexual trauma.

Obtaining strong representation is a must to secure the justice you deserve and liberate yourself to focus on trauma recovery. Don’t wait to secure the advocacy you rightfully deserve after sex abuse.

Aggressive Representation for Sexual Abuse Victims

For over 30 years, our firm has proudly provided high-end representation and compassionate counsel to survivors and their loved ones in sexual abuse lawsuits. With extensive experience in various high-profile cases, you can trust our confident advocates to guide your steps wisely throughout the legal proceedings.

At Levy Konigsberg, we understand the sensitive nature of sexual abuse lawsuits and the seriousness of speaking out. You can count on our knowledgeable attorneys to prioritize your health and emotional well-being while fighting tirelessly for the justice you deserve. From birth defects to cancer-related claims, our seasoned advocates have the in-depth knowledge and skillset to safeguard your reputation while delivering the fierce advocacy you deserve, no matter the stakes.

If you were sexually victimized at a juvenile detention center, our fierce attorneys can fight for the justice you deserve. Call (800) 315-3806 to schedule a consultation.


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